Friday, March 2, 2012

SUNY Undergraduate Research Symposium 2012

On Wednesday of this week (2/29/12), I participated in a state-wide student poster presentation session. The State University of New York's college system held a student poster session in our state's capital, Albany, NY at the Empire State Plaza.

To back up a bit, the Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs at Finger Lakes Community College, Dr. Thomas Topping, had requested student presence at this symposium, to represent our college. I was asked to participate because of the work I've been doing studying black bear behaviors, signs, and markings. I've written about this many other times, check it all out if you want the back story: click me! I've been working under funding provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through a grant named: Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI). Two other classmates of mine came as well to present on their work done in Montserrat this past January.

This is my third time presenting the study, and it was the 'biggest' presentation yet. The other two were regional conferences- still great experiences, but at THIS one was all of the SUNY schools were represented, and the audience were members of the public, colleagues, and state legislators! The first conference that I participated in was the Rochester (NY) Academy of Science in October '11, and the second was the Finger Lakes Research Conference in November '11.

So, early Wednesday morning, the other two students (Barb and Courtney), and the CCURI Project Director, Beth VanWinkle and I loaded up and started our 4 hour trek East.

Photo credit: Beth VanWinkle

Once arriving at the Empire State Plaza, which is in downtown Albany, we had to negotiate one-way streets and try to find parking which was a bit of an adventure! Once we found parking, we had to then negotiate through the Plaza, which was like a subterranean city! It reminded me of an airport concourse/food court/mall...and office complex.

After a mile of walking, maybe not really a mile- but it felt like it!, we found the Legislative Office Building, where we were setting up and presenting.

Courtney and Barb looking relieved to have FINALLY made it!

After going through a security checkpoint, again like at an airport, we had to sign in and look for our booth. Set up was quick, as we just had to tack up our posters, and then it was time to turn on our sparkling charm and draw people in to speak about our amazing work in the field! Well..woods for me, and ocean for the other girls :)
Photo credit: Suzanne Myers

Photo credit: Suzanne Myers
I brought with me a rubber replication of a bear track, and the sources of information I had used during the study. The track was a hit (kind of), but people thought it was a real bear paw!

Photo credit: Beth VanWinkle
Not exactly a FLATTERING picture, but proof that I did present :) This woman seemed genuinely interested and asked me some good questions- which is always a redeeming feeling. For anyone who has participated in any level of research, you know that it feels great to be peppered with questions about your work! It's your baby and you want to take out that proverbial wallet and show off the accordian of photos!
Photo credit: Suzanne Myers
From left to right: Barb Dagata, the SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, Courtney Stein, and myself.

Photo credit: Suzanne Myers
Group photo!

Photo credit: Suzanne Myers
And before we left, we stopped for a picture on the SUNY 'red carpet'!

We came out of our subterranean conference to find winter decided to pop up again! Luckily we had a nice big 4WD Suburban to get us home safely.

It was a great day, awesome learning experience, and I had some awesome travel partners! Thanks for a great day.

1 comment:

  1. YOU GUYS ROCK ! !

    Nice Job on the blog......Proud to support you guys and brag about you all the time


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